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Rhetorical functions of citations in high- and low-rated master’s theses

Petric, Bojana (2007) 'Rhetorical functions of citations in high- and low-rated master’s theses.' Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 6 (3). pp. 238-253. ISSN 1475-1585

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Abstract

This study compares rhetorical citation functions in eight high- and eight low-graded master's theses in the field of gender studies, written in English as a second language. The following rhetorical functions of citations are identified: attribution, exemplification, further reference, statement of use, application, evaluation, establishing links between sources, and comparison of one's own work with that of other authors. It is shown that both sets of theses use citations predominantly for attribution, suggesting that one of the functions of citation in student writing is knowledge display. The use of citation for non-attribution functions is found to be considerably lower in the low-rated theses than in the high-rated theses, both in the whole theses and in individual chapters. The findings show that there is a relationship between citation use and thesis grade, thus pointing to the importance of effective citation strategies for students’ academic success. In conclusion, the paper argues that source use and citation skills should receive more attention in EAP instruction and suggests activities focusing on this area of academic writing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Citation; Master's thesis; Academic writing; High- and low-rated writing; English for academic purposes
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Elena Pupaza
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 15:14
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2015 15:14
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/11718

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